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Case C-72/15 The Queen, on the application of PJSC Rosneft Oil Company, formerly OJSC Rosneft Oil Company v Her Majesty’s Treasury, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and The Financial Conduct Authority

In an important judgment concerning the constitutional basis for review within the European Union and the importance of Rule of Law standards within the EU legal order, the Court of Justice held that the restrictive measures adopted by the Council in response to the crisis in Ukraine against certain Russian undertakings, including Rosneft, were valid. Of more profound relevance, from a constitutional perspective, was the Court of Justice’s ruling, rejecting the position of several Governments including the United Kingdom, that it had jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings on the validity of an act adopted on the basis of provisions relating to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), such as the Council decision which was the subject of the Divisional Court’s reference to the CJEU. The Court explained that a reference for a preliminary ruling must relate either to the monitoring of the legality of the decision itself in the light of Article 40 TEU (an article which governs, in essence, the relationship of the CFSP with other Union policies) or a review of the legality of restrictive measures against natural or legal persons. The Court also held that the exclusion of jurisdiction for certain CFSP decisions should be “interpreted strictly” given the need to ensure effective judicial protection as part of the Rule of Law.

The full judgment can be read here.

Pushpinder Saini QC appeared as Leading Counsel for Rosneft

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